Tag Archives: Joseph Oyebog

Joseph Oyebog Serves Cameroon Tennis, With Intensity

In 2017, “06880” highlighted Joseph Oyebog.

The former Davis Cup tennis player/Cameroon national champion/beloved local tennis coach created a tennis academy in Africa. Thousands of youngsters benefit. Twenty earned college scholarships, or obtained coaching positions in the US and Europe.

The “06880” story invited readers to help him build an actual school.

Joseph Oyebog

You responded immediately. Support since then has enabled the Oyebog Tennis Academy to bring electricity to the campus. That led to the purchase of a refrigerator, which in turn helps feed young players 3 meals a day.

OTA has become a national tennis center. Important tournaments are played there, raising the profile of Cameroon tennis across the continent — and the confidence, hope and opportunity of youngsters in desperate need of all.

Joseph continues to do 2 things here: teach tennis, and gather resources to support the OTA program.

Westporters have rallied around Joseph’s mission, and been an important help.

For example, Guy and Sunny Sherman are co-presidents of the OTA board. The tennis center is named Sherman Grounds in their honor.

Heidi Kness, Stephanie Lemcke, Beth Hochhauser, Monica Ryan, Oona Robinson, Chris Lebrun, Lorraine Oldale, Christina Schwerin and Claire Mason all provide invaluable assistance. So does the Staples High School boys tennis team, which packs used tennis equipment to be sent to Cameroon.

Last fall, Westporters helped send a shipping container to Cameroon. It included  tennis equipment, shoes, tennis balls, clothes — and a truck. Joseph Oyebog stands proudly in the center.

On Saturday, June 1 (7 p.m., Intensity Tennis Center, 490 Westport Ave., Norwalk), OTA celebrates its 20th anniversary with a TennisFest.

It’s a night of food, fun, tennis playing and socializing. Alexandra Stevenson, Wimbledon semifinalist and former top 20 WTA star, will play in the Pro/Pro Mixed doubles event.

And the cause is one everyone can “love.”

(Click here for tickets and more information. Hat tip: Debra Levin)

Joseph Oyebog Serves Tennis

Joseph Oyebog — former Davis Cup tennis player and Cameroon national champion — is a beloved local tennis coach.

The youngest of 6 children, he learned the sport using a racquet made of discarded wood, using tennis balls found in the tall grass outside a club in his home country.

Joseph Oyebog

Since 1999, while teaching tennis in the US, he has forged relationships between the Cameroon government, club owners and American supporters. His Oyebog Tennis Academy in Africa has taught tennis to thousands of youngsters. Twenty have earned college scholarships, or obtained coaching positions in the US and Europe.

Now a US citizen, Oyebog continues to help. For nearly 2 decades he has traveled between his homeland and his adopted nation. Nearly every penny he earns goes into his foundation.

His dream is to build a school around the tennis academy. He wants to hire teachers, and bring hope and jobs to children who grow up with very little.

Right now, the garages of 6 Westport families are filled with tennis gear and donations for children in Cameroon. But Oyebog’s OTA non-profit has run out of funds to ship the goods overseas.

Oyebog’s Westport friends hope to keep his dream alive. They’ve started a GoFundMe campaign.

They know there are many worthy causes that “06880” readers donate to.

But they also know that plenty of readers play tennis, and understand the power of sport to improve lives.

Game on!

(Click here for more information on the GoFundMe campaign, or to contribute.)